Mich. getting museum on post-Civil War era history

EATON RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — Mid-Michigan is getting a new museum focusing on post-Civil War era history that includes a collection amassed by one man over the last seven decades.

The G.A.R. Memorial Hall and Museum will be established in Eaton Rapids, about 15 miles southwest of Lansing. Organizers are holding an open house Thursday to offer a first look at the Grand Army of the Republic building and its contents, the Lansing State Journal reported (http://on.lsj.com/1fGv9QI ).

In the late 1800s, the building was a Grand Army of the Republic hall, where members of the veterans’ organization who served in the Civil War gathered. Crews have spent the last several months converting it for the display of G.A.R. artifacts and historical information.

Don Limpert, of Manchester, has been collecting Civil War-era items for 70 years. Last year, he bought the building. He now is part of a Board of Directors that will operate and oversee the nonprofit museum, and he hopes the museum will attract visitors from across the state.

Keith Harrison, of Holt, will serve as president of the facility’s board. He also is Commander and Chief of a local Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War group and his family heritage includes Civil War-era veterans.

“It’s a lot of work, especially on the front end,” Harrison said. “Everyone brings different experience to the table.”

Plans are in the works to restore the building’s original facade, and grant money will be sought to help fund the work. Organizers also are seeking photos of the building that were taken from 1886 to 1922 to help guide in restoration and other efforts.

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Information from: Lansing State Journal, http://www.lansingstatejournal.com

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